BFBIU at Board of Trustees Week 2024


BFBIU staff, trustees and supporters were honoured to attend this year’s Board of Trustees week, which included the annual honorary doctorate ceremony, student awards, campus tours, and a poignant and meaningful trip to the Gaza Envelope.

Attending the week were Chair of BFBIU, Romie Tager KC; trustee, David Gradel; and Executive Director, Max Dunbar. Also attending from the UK were Bar-Ilan supporters, David & Ann Marks.

At the Board of Trustee plenary session, Bar-Ilan’s President, Prof. Arie Zaban, discussed how Bar-Ilan students and faculty had responded so bravely to the war, initiating community projects to support those affected by trauma and loss. He confirmed Bar-Ilan was officially the fastest growing university in Israel (increasing from 16,437 students in 2014 to 20,500 students in 2024) and was now the second-choice university for Israelis to study. New projects were revealed including a bio-convergence campus at Sheba Hospital and new capital developments at the School of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine and Centre for Energy and Sustainability. Read the full President’s Report 2024.

Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Prof. Haim Cedar

In the evening, 1,500 attendees watched Bar-Ilan’s annual honorary doctorate ceremony, where honorary degrees were awarded to community leader, Haim Jelin; journalist, Dr Ilana Dayan; Rabbi Eliyahu Blumenzweig; biochemist, Prof. Haim Cedar; Rosa Feldman; rock singer-songwriter, Aviv Geffen; and the Brothers for Life Organisation.

In addition to these meetings and ceremonies, trustees enjoyed a number of trips, including a visit to Daliyat Al Carmel, the largest Druze village in Israel, and a tour of the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

The most powerful day of the week was undoubtedly a trip to the Gaza Envelope, where staff and trustees saw first-hand the atrocities of 7th October. They met residents of Sderot and visited the site of the police station that was brutally destroyed. Bar-Ilan’s Prof. Eitan Okun, a resident of Kibbutz Alumim, took the group on a tour of his kibbutz, explaining how the horrors of 7th October unfolded there. And staff and trustees visited the Nova festival site, paying their respects to the 364 civilians who were killed at the horrific massacre.

Bar-Ilan students who had been serving in Gaza and the north joined the group throughout the day, sharing their experiences and explaining how the university had been supporting them in recent months.

Being together gave everyone a much-needed boost of spirit, and we are thankful for all those who attended, and of course to our Bar-Ilan colleagues for organising such an unforgettable week.

For those unable to join us this year, please check out the BOT2024 website, which has recaps of each day and more pictures.